Friday, April 30, 2010
I will add mine as well after I get some responses.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
GFIW: Swedish Fish, April 27
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Gluten-free product news: gluten-free Bisquick, Tribe hummus, and more...
Friday, April 23, 2010
The Beautiful Game by Jackdaw4
The weighting game with a soundtrack
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Would the planet implode??
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Eggplant parmesan and Mamma Mia!
Ok folks, be warned, this is not a healthy one, nor is it quick. Actually it pretty much makes a huge mess of the kitchen, I will kid you not. So why did I put it here? Because it is so damn good, mess, calories, time consumption and all. As long as you have ABBA, it is all good.
2 tablespoons olive oil2 large garlic cloves, minced2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
28-oz can chunky tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 large eggplants
1/4 cup milk
1 cup of gluten-free bread crumbs (I use Schär)1/2 cup parmesan cheese1/2 tablespoon dried oreganoGrapeseed or vegetable oil for frying
Preheat the oven at 350'F.
Dip eggplant in egg mixture, then dredge both sides in bread crumbs, and place in heated pan. Repeat for each slice and fry until golden. Place the slices on paper towels to blot any excess oil. I like to prepare all the eggplant in the egg and bread crumbs first, place them on a plate and then start frying, but do whatever is easiest for you. If the oil starts getting messy, wipe with a clean paper towel, add more oil and continue frying.
1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese1/4 parmesan cheese
Udi's Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Muffins
Monday, April 19, 2010
Great time at the Gluten-Free Cooking Expo Vendor Fair
I look forward to being able to meet up with Jen and Heather again when things are a bit more calm and we can actually chat. But being busy this weekend was a good thing, and it seems like the Expo was a huge success!
Asparagus & lemon linguine @ Noodles & Co.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Glutened, yet again!
Red lentil saga, part 3
Regarding this problem with grains in the lentils, I hope you know how sorry we are for the experience you had with our product. We pride ourselves with our very high standards for purity but this one just slipped through our fingers.
We’ve done some serious sleuthing to find the root cause of these stowaway grains in our lentils and here’s what we found. The farmer that grows our lentils, rotates his crops every third year with wheat, which is what we determined to be the sort of grains you sent for our inspection. No matter how meticulous the farmer may be in purging the field of wheat at harvest, some errant seeds invariably remain. During the following year when lentils are planted, a few sprouts of wheat pop up along with the lentils. They all get harvested, dried and cleaned together. Screens are used to purify the lentils from sticks and rocks from the farm but wheat is so similar in size to lentils, they both end up in the final product.
With the root cause discovered, you’ll be happy know that the farmer has installed an additional piece of quality control equipment that ensure that customers only receive lentils in their bag. The high tech machine is a color sorting device that uses an electronic eye to detect variations in color. The machine is calibrated to allow only the hue of lentils, so anything lighter or darker—like wheat—gets blown off the conveyor with a sharp blast of air.
There may be a few remaining bags on store shelves that have here-and-there kernels of wheat, but once those are gone you’ll see consistently clean and pure lentils. Thank you so much fur alerting us to this. We wouldn’t have had such valuable insight without you. If you have any additional questions or concerns, I would be pleased to help you.
Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, Inc.
I will keep you updated as I receive any information. Wouldn't it be great if they could produce their beans and lentils in their gluten-free facility, so we could know they were 100% safe.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Yorkshire Pudding = result!
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2-3 eggs (I used 2)
1 cup milk or half & half (I used 2% milk)
Drippings from roast beef (I used grapeseed oil)
(I added a tablespoon of melted butter.....just because..maybe to make up for the 2% milk)
Pour a little beef drippings or oil into each muffin cup. You really just need to line the bottom of each cup for this to work. Then put the muffin tin into the oven and heat until the oil is VERY hot.
Distribute the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups and bake at 425' for 15 minutes. If the puddings are well risen by then, turn the oven down to 375' and finish cooking them (should be about 5-10 minutes) You can tell by looking at them how moist they are. Just cook until they look right to you.
GFIW: Zyrtec, April 12
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Interview with stage manager Jolly Roger and living gluten-free
Recently I had the opportunity to speak with the extremely well-traveled and talented stage manager Jolly Roger, who has toured with everyone from KISS to Ministry. Not only is he a very busy at his career, but he also has celiac and must follow a strict gluten-free diet. He was able to spend some time with me and tell me a little bit about how he discovered he has celiac, and how it impacts his busy lifestyle.
How did you get into the music industry?
I always loved music, I can remember being 16, living in New York City, and reading about The Beatles’ first trip to America, in Parade magazine, so I waited at the airport for them to arrive and then when I saw them I thought they were punks with their short hair, and didn’t listen to them until the White Album. I was more into the Rolling Stones, I was going to see the Stones play when there were only seven guys on tour with them.
I always wanted to be in rock ‘n roll and in 1972 I got into the business full-time in NYC. Later I moved to Madison, WI and my first big tour was with Cheap Trick for three years and about 1,000 shows.
Since then I have worked with Cheap Trick, Kansas, Styx, Ozzy Osbourne, The Cure, Pixies, KMFDM, Ministry, Los Lobos, The BoDeans, The Smithereens, and many more that I know I am forgetting.
What do you do now?
I have worked with Jam Productions for 30 years. I have worked as crew, head electrician, rigger and lighting design. I have designed the lights at the Metro, the Vic, Park West, and the Riviera.
I have an electronic background from Vietnam, then I became really interested in lighting design and just learned as I went along, lighting is very subjective.
When did you first realize you had a problem with gluten?
My symptoms first started seven years ago at the age 55. I believe it affected me a long, long time, but I didn’t realize I was feeling different than I was supposed to be. I would drink lots of beer and eat lots of bread. I would do things in excess, clean up, do things in excess again. Someone once gave me a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts, I ate the whole thing and I was sick for days.
Working with Cheap Trick from 2002-2004, I thought I had colon cancer, or something really bad, my brother told me he was lactose intolerant, and as I was drinking milk and eating cheese daily, I cut out dairy and felt better. But in 2-3 weeks I started feeling bad again. A friend told me about celiac disease, so I quit eating gluten, and now it is all good.
I bought The Gluten-Free Bible when I came across it at Whole Foods, and learned that lactose intolerance can be brought on by gluten-intolerance. So now I continue to stay away from dairy. I dropped 175 pounds after I cut out gluten and dairy.
My daughter Val Capone (her roller derby name), on the Manic Attackers with the Windy City Rollers, also has celiac, in addition to her Crohn’s disease. My other daughter Justine, who just received her PhD in chemistry from Northwestern, has so signs of the disease.
How did you handle it, before realizing you had celiac, when you didn’t feel well?
I would only eat graham crackers for a while, which I later discovered fed it all. Then I went on a pure meat diet, which helped.
Have you been diagnosed by a doctor?
No, because I know what makes me feel better, plus I am not big on doctors. In the rock ‘n roll business, you have eight months of the year where you can afford to pay premiums for insurance and have money coming in, but for the other four months it is not always possible. Some bands provide healthcare if you start and stay with them for a while, but most music people don’t have healthcare.
What do you miss most about being able to eat gluten?
I miss White Castle, but if I eat it, it will bother me for days.
Do you feel caterers, on tour, are more aware these days with the gluten-free diet?
Caterers are becoming more aware, some are better than others.
What do you do when you travel internationally?
I stopped touring internationally before I was diagnosed, so I am lucky that way. When I did tour, I traveled to 49 states and 38 countries. My favorite countries are Australia and Canada.
What snacks do you make sure you have on hand during your busy work days?
I like Glutino apple and blueberry bars and Stonyfield O’Soy yogurt. I also like Vienna beef hotdogs and Wellshire hot dogs with corn tortillas and Dinty Moore beef stew.
What do you drink when you want a real drink?
I drink red wine, whiskey and Red Bridge beer.
Where do you like to eat out in Chicago?
Cy’s Crab House, Da Luciano, Sushi Luxe, Coobah, and Gage. I order meat with no garnish and plain baked potatoes. I also get pizza delivered from Marcello’s.
What do you do at formal dinners or family gatherings?
If at a function with a buffet, I will bring my own food, because even if I see something I like that seems safe and have a small bit, I will get sick. Or I will say I am not hungry and say ‘thanks anyway’.
At family gatherings, I will spend time in the kitchen with my gluten-free beer.
And last question, how did you get the name Jolly Roger?
I was given the name Jolly in the 9th grade for being tall like the Jolly Green Giant, I am 6’8”. While touring with KISS in 1976 Gene Simmons told me I needed a second name, he told me that I was a nice fella, but not cool enough to carry one name, so he gave me the second name, Roger, and since then I have been going by Jolly Roger.
Jolly can currently be seen working gigs at venues around Chicago, and recently worked Air, Stone Temple Pilots, Spoon, Vampire Weekend, Matt Kearney and will be working this weekend’s much anticipated Atoms for Peace (Radiohead’s Thome Yorke’s side project).
Interview with Eat to the Beat's Heidi Varah on tour catering and gluten-free diets
Eat to the Beat is an award-winning international caterer, based in the UK, who has been providing catering for over 25 years to touring bands, festivals, films crews and sporting events. Their impressive portfolio includes such clients as Coldplay, Muse, Dave Matthews Band, Flaming Lips, Take That, Snow Patrol, Glastonbury, Chicago’s own Lollapalooza, Mighty Boosh tour, Little Britain tour, Cirque de Soleil, Celebrity Big Brother to name just a few.
I have often wondered, when one has to be in charge of thousands of eager eaters, how is it possible to manage those with specific diets, such as eating gluten-free? I had the opportunity to speak with Eat to the Beat caterer Heidi Varah, about how gluten-free needs are handled on tour.
How did you get started in catering, especially catering for touring bands?
I learned to cook at Leiths School of Food and Wine. I couldn't really afford to take any catering jobs in London, as they were all so badly paid. I knew that there were touring catering companies as my best friend’s mum had worked for Eat Your Hearts Out some years before and I knew the names of a few of the companies. So I sent my CV off and I got a call from Eat To The Beat and have now been there for 16 years.
Has Eat to the Beat always offered allergy-aware/special dietary options?
If there is someone on the tour, be it crew or artist party that has a specific requirement then it is up to us to make sure their needs are met.
Do you often receive requests for gluten-free diets?
It is definitely something that we have seen more of in the last few years, although obviously there is a big difference between a celiac and someone with a wheat intolerance. I do find that if someone just has a wheat intolerance then they tend to lose their willpower at some point and eat a big slice of cake that they shouldn't!! This can be quite frustrating for us if we have taken the time to cook something specifically for them and then they decide that they would rather eat something else on the menu. Obviously an allergy is a much more serious thing and there isn't the option for falling off the wagon.
Most of the wheat-free diets have been for crew members. Lots of bands try to eliminate wheat from their diet whilst on tour, due to the associations with bloating, sluggishness, etc… but they wouldn't claim to be wheat-free.
What is the most common special diet requested?
Other than vegetarian, which we would always provide for without it being requested, I would say gluten-free or a nut allergy. Occasionally we will get a lactose-free or a shellfish allergy request. We don't really see that many vegans and if we do they are mainly Americans, it seems to be much more prevalent there than here.
How is staff trained to be knowledgeable about the gluten-free diet, and avoiding cross-contamination?
All staff have their food hygiene certificates, so cross contamination shouldn't be an issue. But we do take extra care if we know that there is someone with an allergy on the tour. Experience is the best way to learn about a gluten-free diet. Wheat and gluten are in so many things that it can be quite restricting if you don't know how to replace them with a wheat-free substitute. Like anything else, the more experience you have with something, the easier it is to deal with. Obviously each gluten-free person is different so you have to work with their likes and dislikes, for example one person may not like wheat-free pasta or someone may be vegetarian and wheat-free. Often we can adapt one of the dishes from the main menu to make it wheat-free but obviously there is no point in doing that if the person doesn't like that dish.
I know that if there were a beef and mushroom pie on the main menu that someone would like to have that but in a wheat-free option, we would make some pastry with gluten-free flour and thicken the gravy with a wheat-free gravy thickener so that they wouldn't miss out on a dish that they like.
Pretty much everything that we do can be provided in a gluten-free way. Not everything can be substituted, if you were making a beef and Guinness casserole you can't find wheat-free Guinness but of course you could always leave it out.
Nearly everything that we do can be made to be wheat-free. You can replace pasta with wheat-free pasta, in Asian food you can use a wheat-free tamari instead of soy sauce, pastry can be made with gluten-free flour.
Communication is the key, there is always five minutes in the morning to talk to who ever it is and give them some options so that they get something that they want that day.
Is there someone who checks every product used, on tour, for gluten?
Yes, between the head chef and whoever is running the tour there will usually be a discussion about what any special diets will be getting. We definitely use trusted products, we are very fortunate that the supermarkets in the UK have great wheat- and gluten-free substitutes. It's not so easy in Europe though so we have to stock up before we go there.
When working in countries where English is not the primary language, do you work with someone in advance about products to buy, or do you take ingredients with you to avoid any problems?
When we are working in Europe we have a local catering runner who is supposed to have a good understanding of English. They would be able to go to any specialty shops for us and try and get what we need, luckily using the internet it is quite easy to translate things these days. It is relatively easy to get basic wheat-free products in Europe, such as wheat-free pasta, but more specialized ingredients are a bit trickier. I generally keep my eyes open when I am doing the main supermarket shop and if I see something that I think we could use or may need I pick it up and carry it in our dry stores.
Do you bake gluten-free items from scratch, or do you get them from gluten-free food manufacturers?
We do both. I would buy some wheat-free biscuits for snacks through the day and would make a wheat-free desert with substitute ingredients if necessary.
Being that catering is often the first one in, last one out of the venue, how long is your average workday on tour?
We are definitely the first ones in but we are not always the last to finish. We will generally have the main rig packed and ready to go by about 10 PM, we then go for a shower, check emails, watch the show, etc.. until it is time for us to pack down the tea and coffee and wait to clear the dressing rooms. I would say that our average working day would be from 7 AM until midnight making 15 hours.
Since you cook for a living, do you enjoy cooking at home, and what are some of your favorite things to cook?
I do cook at home, I never get bored with cooking, in fact it was the only thing that kept me sane when my baby was 12 days overdue. Unfortunately, my husband is quite a fussy eater so I try and work around that, but my favorite things to cook at home are cakes. Particularly cupcakes as I love decorating them, I have loads of piping nozzles and different decorations that I pick up whenever I see them, so if anyone has a birthday that I know, they are guaranteed a cake of some description. Generally there is always a pot of soup on the go in our house; my husband definitely seems more adventurous if something is called a soup!!
What are you favorite utensils?
My favorite utensils at home would be my piping bag and blow torch, and at work I couldn't live without a mouli, for perfect mashed potato, and my Global meat cleaver.